The Top 5 Best Jump Starters

If you have been driving for any length of time, you’ve probably had this experience: you get in your car, turn the key, and ….nothing. Or the car might make a clicking sound. On occasion, the engine cranks very, very slowly and if you wait a minute, the car might start. Or it might not. 

It’s a sinking feeling in your gut when this happens, especially when there are no other drivers and/or you have no jumper cables. This is only addressing the inconvenience of a dead battery, not the safety factor of stopping complete strangers to ask for a jump. 

This is the reason why every driver should have a portable jump starter stowed away in their car.  Most jump starters are very affordable, quite easy to use, and who knows? They might save your life. 

With so many choices on the market today, however, which jump starter is the right one for your vehicle? The following is a list of what we consider to be the best jump starters on the market today. 

The 5 Best Car Jump Starters on the Market Today

Some car jump starters require that you hook it up to the battery cables themselves, while others can be plugged into the cigarette lighter. We are going to review both designs so you can make an informed decision. 

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

1. DBPOWER 800A Portable Car Jump Starter

Specifications:

  • Overall Capacity: 18000mAh
  • Diesel Engine Suitable: Yes
  • Weight: 2.82 Pounds

This portable jump starter by DBPOWER can be used for engines up to 7.2L or even in diesel engines up to 5.5Ls. With enough power to start a motor up to 20 times before it must be recharged, this unit is still small enough that you can fit it inside most gloveboxes. 

What we like about many of today’s modern jump starters, is that they come with a small flashlight type of light, and USB ports, so even if you have another engine problem, you can still keep your phone or tablet fully charged. The DBPower unit also has an LCD readout screen, so you know how much power is left in the unit. This weighs a bit more than some other jump starters, but not so much you will regret taking it with you. 

Pros: 

  • 3-Year warranty
  • Laptop charger adaptor included
  • Comes with nylon carrying case

Cons:

  • Needs to be charged frequently when not in use
  • When cables are plugged in, they are always live
  • Instructions are not clear

 

2. GOOLOO 800A SuperSafe Car Jump Starter

Specifications: 

  • Overall Capacity: 18000mAh
  • Diesel Engine Suitable: Yes
  • Weight:  1.16 Pounds

While this unit has the same overall capacity that other units have, it states that it can only start engines up to 7.0L or 5.5L diesel engines. Like other jump starters, the GOOLOO has USB ports for charging cell phones and other devices. It will fully charge itself in 5 hours and when not in use, can hold a charge for as long as 3 months. 

We like that this jump starter has red and green lights to let you know if you’ve connected the cables wrong. We also loved the rubberized casing which feels very sturdy. There are some complaints that the jumper wouldn’t work on even small vehicles, but it’s difficult to say if the unit was charged or if it was being used properly. 

Pros:

  • Jumps even large-sized motors very quickly
  • Super easy to use
  • Extremely lightweight

Cons:

  • Instructions are not always clear
  • A limited 12-month warranty isn’t long enough if the unit is not used for many months after purchase
  • Button for the flashlight is easy to turn on when you don’t mean to

 

3. TackLife T8 800A Car Jump Starter

Specifications:

  • Overall Capacity: 18000mAh
  • Diesel Engine Suitable: Yes
  • Weight: 1.21 Pounds

This is another powerful yet portable jump starter that can start most cars, trucks, and SUVs as many as 30 times before needing to be recharged. The TackLife has a 12-month standby time if the unit is switched off. 

Like many other chargers, this one also features USB ports, an LCD screen that displays the battery life of the unit and has an audible buzz if you hook it up wrong. An incredibly lightweight 1.21 pounds means you could even put this in your purse or pocket and not notice it! We like the 2-year full warranty and lifetime technical support! 

Pro:

  • Very lightweight, yet feels exceptionally durable
  • Works even in extremely cold temperatures
  • Super long standby time

Cons:

  • No carrying case
  • There are a few complaints that the unit was dead out of the box
  • Cannot use in heavy rain

4. Wagan EL9796 Easy Quick Start Jumper

  • Overall Capacity: 
  • Diesel Engine Suitable: No
  • Weight: 1.25 Pounds

This Wagan jump starter is designed to be used inside the car. Simply plug it into a donor car’s cigarette lighter and the other end into your dead car’s cigarette lighter, wait for 5 to 10 minutes, and your motor should start! This is genuinely nice when the weather is terrible, and you don’t want to get out of the car or for people who might have a difficult time trying to understand how to hook up traditional jump starters. 

This uses an LED light to tell you when the battery has enough juice to start your car. Instructions are printed on the unit, so you don’t need to remember what to do or fumble with a manual. This is almost like having jumper cables, but less complicated. This is very inexpensive as well! 

Pros: 

  • Eliminates the need for jumper cables
  • Extremely simple to use
  • Very inexpensive

Cons:

  • Will not work on a completely dead battery
  • Must have a cigarette lighter that has power when the ignition is in the “off” position
  • The unit gets extremely hot when charging

 

5. Stanley P2G7S Simple Start Lithium-Ion Battery Booster

Specifications:

  • Overall Capacity: 21.6V 2Ah (2900mAh)
  • Diesel Engine Suitable: No
  • Weight: 1.5 Pounds

The Stanley Simple Start contains the best of both worlds. This jump starter can be plugged into a cigarette lighter or used in the traditional way by hooking it up to the battery posts. There is no need for a donor car. To use the cigarette lighter, simply plug the Stanley in and wait for 5 to 10 minutes. The Simple Start jump starter can also be used to charge cell phones and it has an emergency LED light so you can see what you are doing. 

Recharges itself in 6 to 8 hours, this jump starter may not have the power that larger units have, but it still gets the job done, quickly jump-starting a 5.0, V8 motor in a few minutes. While the company doesn’t recommend using it on diesel engines, many reviews say that it worked on their diesel motor. This is the best of both worlds, allowing new drivers to jump start a car via the cigarette lighter, while still allowing more experienced drivers to jump start a car directly from the battery terminals. 

Pros: 

  • Jump starts batteries two ways
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Limited 1-year warranty
  • No carrying case

The Clear Winner

Usually, one product really stands head and shoulders above the rest, but most of these will do what you want- jump start a car battery. 

In this case, we can see two winners, depending on what you need. 

  1. The Stanley Simple Start. If you aren’t so sure that your teenage son or daughter will remember how to jump-start the car using the traditional manner, this unit can let them do it from the cigarette lighter, with no need for a donor car. 
  2. The TackLife T8 800. This unit has everything you could ask for while having an extremely durable, rubberized case that won’t ding your car or mess up the unit if you should accidentally drop it. 

Regardless of what price you can afford, or which unit suits your needs, any of the above should be able to jump-start your vehicle and get you back on the road again. And remember, you’ll need to regularly charge your portable jump starter to keep it effective. 

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